Someone recently asked me, “Do purebred cats require more expensive care?” My initial reaction was a resounding, instinctive, “Heck yes.” But why is that?
I went on a personal mission to answer this question. Jenny Dean, who owns the blog FloppyCats.com , a site all about the famously furry Ragdoll breed (and famously costly as well), was happy to put to rest any notion that a purebred cat costs the same as a mixed or rescue. Unfortunately, it’s simply not true. Case in point?
1. A Ragdoll kitten can cost as much as $1,000. (Jenny paid $800 for hers.) A typical shelter rescue costs about $100.
2. A purebred kitten’s price is usually determined on a number of factors. According to KL Walker, a renowned cat rescuer, the quality of the kitten and the rarity of the breed are taken into account.
3. Breeders use certain criteria early in the cat’s life to ascertain what type of purebred it will be and how much it might end up costing, including pet alter quality, show alter quality, breeder quality and show/breeder quality.
“In addition to that cost as a kitten, purebreds are known for having more health issues, so there’s an even higher possibility that they will cost even more in the long run,” says Dean.
As far as special vet care, that would only be necessary in cats that have a health problem. Purebred cats also may eat special food, and take special vitamins and supplements. Some might also require regular grooming or special vet care to keep up appearances, all based on the owner’s preferences.
In essence, raising a purebred cat costs more than raising a regular cat — only if you are going to show it, and only if you decide to give it extra-special grooming trips to the vet and/or supplements. Sure, they have a higher initial price tag as babies. But after that, it’s all up to the owner on how much to spend.
Jaime Lynn Smith is an accomplished writer and pet owner from Cleveland, Ohio. She owns the popular pets blog ThoughtsFurPaws.com and frequently volunteers at local and national pet welfare organizations.